February 7, 2014

Current Watch List:

  • Gotita de Plata, Nino Hamburguesa & Super Nova vs. Belial, Gran Apache & Mamba (AAA)
  • Jack Evans & Angelico vs. Averno & Chessman (AAA)
  • La Parka vs. El Mesias vs. Cibernetico vs. La Parka Negra (AAA)
  • Johnny Gargano vs. Brian Meyers (FWE)
  • Paul London (c) vs. Matt Sydal for the Tri-Borough championship (FWE)
  • Arik Royal vs. John Skyler (CWF Mid-Atlantic)
  • Bill Dundee vs. Chris Kilgore (APCW)
  • Drew Galloway vs. Matt Hardy (FWE)
  • John Klinger (c) vs. Axel Dieter Jr. vs. Ilja Dragunov vs. Ivan Kiev for the wXw Shotgun championship (wXw)

Current Watch List:

Gotita de Plata, Nino Hamburguesa & Super Nova vs. Belial, Gran Apache & Mamba

AAA openers/dark matches are usually a lot of fun and this was no exception.  Not quite as good as the prior weeks and below the level of the best over the past year+ but still fun.  Gotita de Plata looked very good.  Cool springboard arm drags and a nice step up plancha.  Apache is so solid.  There have not been many wrestlers who have has a long and solid of a career as he has.  Mamba was fun too and Hamburguesa is way over.    I’ll see from time to time a current match (often from Japan) be descried as having great heat when the truth is those matches have far less heat than a AAA opener.  I think its easier to forget what good, sustained heat sounds like if you only watch certain stuff.  AAA shows are probably the best in the world for strong, consistent heat.

Jack Evans & Angelico vs. Averno & Chessman

There has been an uptick in interest in Angelico and Evans this past week after Konnan commented on his podcast that he couldn’t believe they didn’t fare well in the WON tag team of the year voting.  Konnan has a legit point.  2014 was not a great year for tag teams.  So even while Angelico and Evans did not have a bunch of featured straight tags, what they did have was generally good and they had some strong trios work as well.  Given the lack of standout tag work in 2014, that qualifies them as a legit candidate.  I fall somewhere in the middle.  I would have had the Usos ahead of them and probably the Young Bucks, but you could make a case for Evans/Angelico after any of those teams.  Not the biggest Angelico fan (his strikes can be truly bad at times) but I am a fan of Jack.  Thought this was decent.  Averno was a bit off but nothing too bad.  Chessman looked good and Angelico’s strikes were not the problem they can sometimes be.  If you are someone looking for Evans & Angelico matches to watch, this is probably as good as any match to watch.  You can get a good idea of what they bring to the table from it, with the caveat that there weren’t any big dives.

La Parka vs. El Mesias vs. Cibernetico vs. La Parka Negra

Probably my favorite Rey de Reyes four way from the past two years.  La Parka is always a lot of fun, mainly because of how over he is.  La Park Negra showed up for the first time in months, as one of his main duties in AAA seems to be appearing in the Rey de Reyes qualifier that La Parka is in.  Mesias has had a good 2014 so far.  I thought he was the best guy in the WWL 3-way that also involved Alberto, as looked fine on Lucha Underground, and was probably the best one in this match as well.  He’s working hard and getting some strong results.  La Parka got taken out by the united forces of the Hell Brothers and La Nueva Sociedad, so Parka Negra ended up being the foe for Mesias at the end instead of Parka as would have been expected.  Decent match; easy to watch.

Johnny Gargano vs. Brian Meyers
United States

I am not a fan of either guy so . . . so I really don’t know why I watched this.  It was terrible, just so totally bland.  Lots of solid execution but just no flow and no sense of anything being at stake.  For a guy who has been around for long, Meyers really comes off like a play wrestler.  Gargano was a bit better but he still strikes me as a poor man’s Austin Aries.

Paul London (c) vs. Matt Sydal
United States
Tri-Borough championship

An obvious match to book given their similar styles and background.  Current London is so weird to me.  He can still go but doesn’t seem to have any desire to construct an engaging well built match.  It is usually just a bunch of goofiness leading into good but random segments that don’t really build on each other.  The best way to describe this match would be that if you edited into a highlight video but kept 90% of the match in tact, it would look really good.  In highlight form, you could just assume that they are transitioning from segment to segment logically.  When you watch it all the way through, it comes off far more disjointed even though a lot of the work was solid or better.  Disappointing in that these two have been around long enough to know better but London just doesn’t seem to have any desire to do more than what he is doing at this point.

Arik Royal vs. John Skyler
United States
CWF Mid-Atlantic

Arik Royal for me is that eternal prospect that I keep waiting to break out, not always realizing that he is an 8 year veteran who by now probably is what he is.  I think he has a lot of tools (size, charisma, presence, intuitive sense of pacing) but he has yet to put it altogether.  His offense his hit or miss in terms of execution.  As one example, he went for some basic stomps in this one and almost fell over.  He was way off base on a spinning heel kick and sort of lumbered around the ring for most of the match.  He is someone who just needs to tighten everything up a bit but I am not sure he’ll get there.  The same could be said for Skyler, though I think I have seen him hit higher notes than I have seen Royal hit.  I liked his team with Walters.  Their 2 out of 3 falls match versus the Bravados from the Carolinas last year was a fun southern style under the radar tag and better than any single match I have seen from Royal.  At the same time, he is still unpolished.  Not much in the way of transitions with these two.  The ending was overbooked nonsense that made both Royal and Skyler look bad.

Bill Dundee vs. Chris Kilgore
United States
All Pro Championship Wrestling

It would be a pretty big stretch to call this a good match.  What is however is an interesting display of a 71 year old lifelong wrestler having enough knowledge and skills up his sleeves to produce a watchable match with an opponent that brings very little to the table.  Dundee started the match by immediately going for a single leg take down and working a toe hold.  The move required very little effort on either his part or Kilgore’s which is what they were shooting for, but at the same time started the match in an interesting way that grabbed my attention.  The rest of the match is like that with Dundee pulling out a bunch of little things that grab your attention to make up for the fact that they really aren’t doing much at all (and for the fact that Kilgore is not very good).  Dundee was always the master of the little things, so that should come as no surprise.  Being able to work the crowd with mannerisms or little tricks like Dundee does is a skill that doesn’t age.  There is a reason guys like Lawler and him can still go when guys thirty years younger have already outlived their usefulness.

John Klinger (c) vs. Axel Dieter Jr. vs. Ilja Dragunov vs. Ivan Kiev
Shotgun Championship

Originally announced as a one-on-one match with Klinger defended versus Dragunov, this morphed into a four way at some point.  It was a sprint four way  where they kept two guys out of the ring at any given time.  As far as those matches go, this was watchable.  The timing of guys leaving and re-entering the ring was on point.  The match motored by and I don’t recall any spots that irked me.  At the same time, I don’t recall any that blew me away.  Fine way to waste 10 minutes but not worth going out of your way for at all.


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